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Jenny's Reviews

Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

Homeland Elegies defies genres. Calling it a novel implies it’s not true, but I’ve never read anything more brutally honest, relevant, or personal. Akhtar may be known as an author and a playwright, but this book reads like an opera with recurring choruses, haunting variations on a theme, dramatic tension, characters that are larger than life, sex scenes, death scenes, and cliff hangers. And all along you know that you too play a part, because this is all actually happening right now on the world stage. This is not a novel about immigration and integration. This is an elegy, a poem of serious reflection, a lament, about home. — Jenny

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Homeland Elegies: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316496421
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 15th, 2020

The Home Edit Life by Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin

I love these gals! Their approach and strategies give new life and enthusiasm to getting organized. Leave your self-shame and berating at the door, because The Home Edit Life is all about encouraging you to live your life as it is and making it work better for you by noticing what's holding you back. Is it about decluttering and getting organized? Yes, but it's really more about how you notice and cultivate your environment as you go, so that you stop throwing those mile-long receipts into the bottom of your purse for no good reason.  — Jenny

The Home Edit Life: The No-Guilt Guide to Owning What You Want and Organizing Everything Cover Image
$28.50
ISBN: 9780593138304
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter - September 15th, 2020

Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, from 1661 to Today by Anne Willan

Many of us have a connection to a particular woman who commanded the kitchen at family gatherings, as well as memories that evoke sounds, smells, tastes, and sights that we try and recreate with our present day families from recipes scrawled on index cards. Anne Willan unpacks the stories of female cookbook writers throughout history and their recipes, methods,and backgrounds that have influenced many aspects of our own kitchen practices today. Women like Fannie Farmer, Irma Rombauer, Julia Child, Edna Lewis, and Marcella Hazan, with all of their notoriety, still had a process of utility, economy, discovery, sometimes failure, and ultimately creation. —Jenny

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Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, from 1661 to Today Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781501173318
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - August 11th, 2020

It Starts with Fruit by Jordan Champagne

What is the difference between jams, marmalades, preserves, and butters? Oh, you’re going to learn and you’re going to love it! And how about shrubs? Have you ever sipped a shrub? Not the bush kind, but a fruit syrup, preserved with vinegar and mixed with water or alcohol to make a refreshing beverage. It Starts with Fruit will quell all of your fears about canning and inspire you to preserve everything you see at the farmers’ market. The photography and illustrations are beautiful and the stories that accompany each recipe will make it seem like you’re preserving more than just food.

My Korea Traditional Flavors, Modern Recipes by Hooni Kim

This is quickly becoming another favorite cookbook of mine. If a cookbook can be considered a page-turner, this is one that I couldn’t put down. Kim’s story of his immigration unfolds, from his first taste memories in South Korea through his life growing up in London and New York to the opening of his Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, Danji, which would receive a Michelin star, the first ever in the world for a Korean restaurant. This book is truly inspiring and I can’t wait to begin my own Korean food cooking journey.

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My Korea: Traditional Flavors, Modern Recipes Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9780393239720
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 7th, 2020

Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles

If ever you need to leave behind the fast-paced, app-filled, droning noise of this time, open up the world of Simon the Fiddler. This meandering story, set at the end of the Civil War, follows Simon, his fiddle, his dreams for a simple, peaceful life, and his quest to marry the Irish lass he fell in love with at first sight. There are saloon fights, friendships, alligators, hoop skirts, letter writing, and tragic loss. I’m telling you, I thought the music and the Southern scenes were all going to just fade into the Texas sunset, until I got to the final chapters—plot twist!

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Simon the Fiddler: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062966742
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - April 14th, 2020

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

The characters in this transporting book, set before and after the Civil War, still haunt my thoughts. We get to know a mother and daughter—midwives and healers—and the community they serve. Their magic is both a blessing, and a curse and the people who need them can be desperate to believe or quick to condemn. This is a story of people, their overlapping realities, their longing for security, and the unjust world and its rules, rules that we still deal with today. You will love the characters, be curious about what’s true and what is conjured, and shake your head with grief as the story comes to a close.

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Conjure Women: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525511489
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - April 7th, 2020

Everything Here is Beautiful

Everything Here Is Beautiful: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735221970
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - January 15th, 2019

If you’ve ever loved anyone who struggles with mental heatlh issues, this book is that story. It captures with such raw and imperfect understanding both sides of being the one with the beautiful and complicated mind as well as the one who loves and cares for them...and sometimes at them. One whole unamed character in this book is the mental health system and it’s shortfalls. This story is about two sisters and their bond to love one another. The question that lurked in the background was, what about those who have no one?  I highly recommend this book for its insight and compassion. —Jenny


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